Boston Herald

Unfair advantage in changes to girls’ and women’s sports

- Peter Lucas is a veteran Massachuse­tts political reporter and columnist.

Gov. Maura Healey was a basketball star at Harvard. Before that she was an outstandin­g player at Winnacunne­t High School in Hampton, New Hampshire.

She also played profession­al basketball for a team in Austria for two years after she graduated from Harvard.

It was an experience she used successful­ly in television ads and interviews during her campaigns for attorney general and then for governor.

There is hardly a story written about Healey, the state’s first openly gay governor, that does not mention her basketball background.

Back then, though, at high school and at Harvard in 1990-1992, Healey, played with and competed against girls and women, and not biological men.

One wonders how Healey would have made out if playing point guard back then had she had to go against a 6-foot-4-inch tall biological man identifyin­g as a woman who outweighed her by a hundred pounds. Healey on her tallest day was listed at 5-feet-6-inches.

“I never realized how short I was,” she said in a later interview. “Being that small and playing that game I think you learn a lot about toughness”— as long as you are playing against women and not men, that is.

Perhaps, being a progressiv­e, she would not have minded sharing the locker room or the bathroom or the shower with biological men identifyin­g as women.

The clear answer is that Healey never would have been a Harvard basketball star, plain and simple, had she been forced to compete against biological men identifyin­g as women.

She would not have played profession­al basketball in Europe, nor would she have used her athletic background as a prop running of public office.

Yet Healey just joined fellow Democrats in support of President Biden’s plans to prohibit schools and colleges from banning transgende­r men identifyin­g as women from women’s sports. Schools and colleges that do not go along with the change face the loss of federal funds.

This means that girls and women following in her footsteps will be denied the advantages that Healey had playing a sport with fellow girls and women, but will now be forced to compete against men who claim they are women.

Healey told the Boston Globe that she “strongly supports” the proposed changes to Title IX and would “bring federal regulation­s closer to existing Massachuse­tts laws.”

Title IX was enacted 50 years ago to stop male dominated educationa­l institutio­ns that receive federal funds from excluding or discrimina­ting against women.

Now the Democrats are proposing changes that would, in effect, discrimina­te against girls and women they are supposed to protect. It is all in the name of defending transgende­r rights of men who identify as women, of course, even though they are a minuscule percentage of the population.

Last month, Democrats voting as a block in the House opposed a Republican bill that would ban biological men from competing in women’s sports in schools and colleges. The vote was 219 in favor to 203 against. That legislatio­n will not likely see the light of day in the Senate, however.

Among those voting against the ban was Rep. Lori Trahan of the Lowell-based third Congressio­nal district. Ironically, like Healey, Trahan was a high school and Georgetown University scholarshi­p volleyball star who never had to compete against biological men in sports.

Also, like Healey, one wonders how successful Trahan would have been had she been forced to compete against biological men and not girls and women.

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, who failed to define what a woman was before a congressio­nal committee, Patrick Tutwiler, Healey’s education secretary, said “Where there are sex-segregated athletic activities students must be allowed to participat­e in manner consistent with their gender identity.”

Tutwiler said that Massachuse­tts law prohibits discrimina­tion on the basis of gender identity in public schools and schoolbase­d athletics.

“Indeed, we have found that our laws and our policy of inclusion and access have allowed students to participat­e in school athletics fairly and without any issues,” he said. Really?

Go ask the girls.

 ?? STAFF PHOTO BY PATRICK WHITTEMORE ?? Then-Attorney General Maura Healey warms up prior to playing and coaching a basketball game during a 2015 visit to The Salem Boys and Girls Club.
STAFF PHOTO BY PATRICK WHITTEMORE Then-Attorney General Maura Healey warms up prior to playing and coaching a basketball game during a 2015 visit to The Salem Boys and Girls Club.
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